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15 dead, thousands displaced as Cyclone Gombe wrecks Mozambique

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Latest report from Mozambique says there have been 100,000 displaced persons and 15 casualties from recent flood at Cyclone Gombe, areas of northern and central Mozambique, officials said Monday.

According to official figures, about 12,000 houses were totally destroyed while 11,000 were seriously damaged.

The dead include five members of the same family in the Angoche coastal area of Nampula province, Governor Mety Gondola said. The number of injured is now at least 50, the prime minister’s office announced.

Gombe is the most recent of a series of cyclones that have hit southern Africa so far this year.

Tropical cyclone is also called typhoon or hurricane, it is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain.

Cyclone draw energy from the sea surface and maintaines its strength as long as it remains over warm water, a tropical cyclone generates winds that exceed 119 km (74 miles) per hour. In extreme cases winds may exceed 240 km (150 miles) per hour, and gusts may surpass 320 km (200 miles) per hour.

In August 2019, Mozambique witnessed its first cyclone called “Cyclone Idai and Kenneth”, According to UNICEF, Death toll from the hurricane was 603 while 1,641 were injured. It The disaster affected Zambézia, Sofala, Manica, Tete and Inhambane provinces (50 districts in total) with Houses destroyed: 223,947 houses destroyed and 160,927 persons displaced.

Some coastal districts in Nampula province remained isolated on Monday, without power, water and communication.

In terms of public infrastructure affected, two bridges have been destroyed, 16 health units and 113 schools have been reported damaged. More than 140 power lines have been knocked down, according to official figures.

On the historic island of Ilha de Moçambique, six people died and the cyclone toppled several trees that were centuries old. Due to widespread flooding, many residents are desperate and the local government is using boats to provide relief as it is not possible to reach people on foot or by car, Ilha district administrator Momade Ali, told state television TVM.

“The situation is more dramatic because some spaces that we had already prepared as reception centers have also been affected,” he said. “There are families hosting about 40 to 50 people in their homes,” he added.

Cyclone Gombe weakened over the weekend but continued to batter northern and central Mozambique with rain and strong winds. Virtually all rivers in the area have reached alert levels and many roads have become impassable.

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Nearly €20 million in contention as Chad arrests top oil sector, banking officials

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An investigation into embezzlement at the national oil company in Chad has led to the arrest of a group of senior officials from Chad’s oil and banking sectors.

According to the government, the arrest has been on over the past 10 days.

The Minister of Communication and government spokesman, Abderaman Koulamallah on Sunday said the embezzlement of 13 billion CFA francs (nearly 20 million euros) within the Chadian oil company (SHT) and the National Security Agency (ANS), the internal and external intelligence services, is conducting the investigation.

Among those arrested is the former private secretary of General Mahamat Déby, Idriss Youssouf Boy. Michel Boayam and Tahir Issa Ali Souleymane were also questioned in the framework of the investigation.

“Many people have been arrested and some have been released as part of the investigation into financial misappropriations of 13 billion CFA francs at the SHT.

“The case is currently being handled by the judiciary” and some of the defendants will eventually be presented to a judge at the end of the preliminary investigation, the spokesman added, without giving any details of the charges.” Koulamallah told journalists.

Chad is a modest oil producer, with 47 million barrels in 2021, The central African country joined the circle of African oil producing and exporting countries in the early 2000s and its economy is now very dependent on it.

It is not uncommon to identify corrupt trend in oil sector in Africa. Report says the 2005–2014 oil boom raised incentives for corruption across the oil industry’s value chain. A highly diverse set of private sector actors engaged in corrupt behavior.

Chad’s neighbour, Nigeria, who is also Africa’s largest oil producer, is perhaps the biggest reference to corruption in oil sector in the continent. Efforts from the Nigerian government to investigate and curtail the ill can be traced to the 1950s during the Olusegun Obasanjo military regime. A panel of enquiry was set up to investigate a Two Billion, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira fraud which could not be accounted for by the NNPC.

The cases of corruption in the sector once again raises question if the liquid tressure has been a blessing or curse to the “black continent.”

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326 Mozambican Police officers dismissed for involvement in crimes since 2020

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The Mozambican Police Force (PRM), has dismissed 326 officers from the force since 2020 over their involvement in different crimes which include extortion, bribery, use of excessive force and violence against citizens.

The dismissal of the police officers was as a result of a 2020/2021 report on human rights abuse in the country put together by the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM), which was released last week in Maputo.

According to the 2020 report, many arbitrary detentions persisted including situations of people being locked up for more than 48 hours in cells and detainees driven to prisons without any magistrate validating their detention.

“Among various abuses, the violence practiced by the police also includes physical assault, arbitrary detention and sometimes even murders.

“For instance, four police officers were sentenced to the maximum penalty of 23 and 24 years in prison, for their involvement, on 7 October 2019, in the murder of the executive director of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations of Gaza (FONGA), Anastácio Matavel,” the report stated.

The OAM also recommended exemplary disciplinary, administrative and criminal accountability of those police officers involved in violence against citizens, as well as modification of the requirements for admission of candidates for a police career, ensuring that only persons who show a commitment to the cause of law and order and public security are admitted.

The OAM also called for the dissemination of information on crimes of violence committed by the police, including the names of the officers involved and the disciplinary measures taken.

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